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Ugly Beautiful Gifts = Joy

Posted by Janelle Lang on


Friday was all planned out to include sleeping 8 hours. I am sick and my mom said “honey you don’t have a substitute” so I decided I better slow down and get some rest. Somehow I reasoned sleeping 4 hours a night, making a Sabbath an idea vs. reality and believing if I maintained cross fit and spin my body would keep me going but as I like to say, it failed me. My body had the nerve to say, “stop”. 

I was "rested" and out the door at 9:30 am feeling on top of my to do list. I had already signed off on web pages for classes and had the first artisan instructor class info sent to my web designer to develop the template. Email for that one moment in time cleaned up! Off I was to visit my artisan blacksmith at his shop. Well I got into my car and it decided not to start. Really? I couldn’t believe it. I even did a Hail Mary prayer and God chose not to answer it the way I would have liked

I started to get upset and had to remind myself I have a bike, and the Shoppe is less than a mile from home. So I needed to cancel the artisan blacksmith, I could reschedule.  It really wasn’t a big deal as I am actually going to ride my bike to work everyday once I am done hauling things to and from the Shoppe.

I thought about the people of Rwanda I had seen use their bikes like I use my car. I was so blessed that I had a bicycle as a plan b and it had a basket. I filled my backpack and loaded up my basket full of cleaning supplies and off I went to the Shoppe. 

After vendor appointments I called AAA to come check my car. I biked home to meet the technician and told him I was praying it was the battery and not something else. He couldn’t believe how happy I was when he said it was the battery. I told him little problem easily fixed, that I needed keep it in perspective.

As he was wrapping up he still couldn’t believe how happy I was as I kept saying I am so thankful it was the battery and you were able to fix it (plus it was still under warranty so I didn’t have to pay for anything.)  He asked if I had to work at it. I told him I did. I asked him if people get upset with him as I could only imagine people would be like me, happy that he could fix the problem. He said I wouldn’t believe what he gets from people. I was saddened.  Convicted I was reminded how easy it is to lose perspective.

In the scheme of life, this was a first world problem. I am so blessed that if I needed my car fixed, I could afford it. If I needed to go somewhere I had friends with cars. The fact that I had a car and a bike. Blessed beyond measure.

Thinking about my pastor friends in Rwanda that we were able to help by raising money for their bikes. The joy they had when it meant they no longer had to walk.  Putting my life in perspective, being reminded today that the world is bigger than Shoppe 561 and me. Life still moves forward. My role in all this is to choose how I respond to my circumstances.

My car battery dying would be what Ann Voskamp calls an “ugly beautiful gift”.  It took what was “ugly” my car battery dying to give me the “gift” of seeing in the big picture how blessed I am.  Giving thanks in all things is what we are called to do and I know for a fact when I do my heart overflows with joy and gratitude

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